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Issue #04 Vol. #02 - September 2001



Photo Album

Why Adopt?

Adoption Sites

NDRC's Poll

Puppy Mills

Are You Nuts About Mutts?

To Neuter or Not to Neuter?

Breed Index

Link To Us!

Canines Online

October: Adopt a Shelter Dog Month  

Dogs in the Encyclopedia

Dog Facts

Ways To Help When You Can't Adopt

Awards I Have Won

Win My Award

Award Winners

Sign My Guestbook!        

View My Guestbook! 

What Is Rescue?

Your Dog's Age

Quiz: Are You Ready For A Dog?

What is Your Dog Saying?

How to Choose the Right Dog

Preparing for your New Dog


Books and Magazines

Taking Care of your Dog

First Aid Supplies for your Dog

First Aid 

Toxic Plants for your Dog

A Checklist for a Healthy Dog

Warm and Cold Weather Suggestions  

Dog Food


Save a Stray




C A N I N E S   O N L I N E ™
Copyright 2001 Canines Online ™
Issue No. 4, Vol.2, September 7, 2001

   -- Allergy Tests for Pets
=>News Briefs:
   -- Vet's job changes with the times
   -- Days may be numbered for pooch on death row
   -- Sun Valley's Internet Art Auction Goes to the Dogs
   -- Male or Female?
=>Featured Site:
   -- Lease with Pets
=>Featured Breed:
   -- Pug
=>The Tail End

Allergy Tests for Pets
Written by: Tracy Vogel, Staff Writer of

When people have allergies, the usual symptoms are congestion, sneezing,
itchy eyes, and runny noses.
When pets have allergies, they itch. Your dog and cat can be allergic to
dust mites, ragweed and fungal spores—just like you—but they show it

Atopic dermatitis—the animal equivalent of hay fever, is an
"unbelievably complex disease," said Dr. Andrew Hillier, assistant
professor of dermatology at Ohio State University’s College of
Veterinary Medicine. "It’s not a disease easily cured."

Two main tests are used for possible allergy patients. One is the skin
test, in which substances are injected into the skin to determine
allergic reaction. The second is a serum test, in which blood serum is
sent to a laboratory and exposed to various allergens to determine

The serum test is the more recent technology. Companies are working to
refine the test—one company, Allercept, has gone as far as to isolate
the cell receptor that reacts to the production of antibodies that bind
to the cells.

The receptors, along with a colored marker, are used to determine
whether the blood serum contains those elevated levels of antibodies,
thus indicating a possible allergy.

"It’s an extremely specific test because it doesn’t cross-react with
other antibodies," said Dr. Rebecca Turnbull, a marketing manager and

The company also aims for preciseness in detecting the allergens. To
look for flea sensitivity, scientists use flea saliva—the element that
causes the allergy. Flea farms are fed blood covered by a membrane. When
the insects bite through the layer, the membrane collects their saliva.

The saliva is placed in a small section of a tray. Other potential
allergens are placed in additional sections. The serum, receptor, and
marker are added to the tray. If a reaction occurs, it indicates a
sensitivity to the substance.

But allergy tests are only part of the picture, Dr. Hillier warned.
"These are not tests of allergy," he said. "They’re tests of

An animal can be hypersensitive to a variety of allergens without being
allergic—a dog can be hypersensitive to dust mites, for instance, but
not experience allergies.

Dr. Turnbull also emphasizes that her company’s test doesn’t diagnose
allergies—it only detects the presence of the elevated antibodies after
the veterinarian has already determined that the pet is allergic. "If
they’ve done the work they should, it’s very useful," she said. "One of
the keys to proper diagnosis is a thorough history."

So it’s essential to rule out the other causes of disease, Dr. Hillier
said. Flea allergies, for example, are easy to rule out, as are scabies
and food allergies.

Then the veterinarian should conduct the skin or serum test. Dr. Hillier
uses both the serum test and skin test for his patients. Often the
results correlate, but sometimes they don’t, and it’s best to have as
much information as possible, he said.

Given only one choice, he said he would do a skin test, simply because
he has the equipment for it. Without a skin test kit, he would go for
the serum test. But he expects both to be around for the foreseeable
future. "Both have faults and advantages."

Dr. Thierry Olivry, a professor at the North Carolina College of
Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, N.C., also uses both tests—but only if the
client is willing to put the pet through immunotherapy. "They may not be
measuring exactly the same things," he said.

Neither test is effective for detecting food allergies.

After the serum and skin test, veterinarians need to look at the results
again, in the context of the animal’s medical history, Dr. Hillier said.

For instance, tests show a reaction to the household dust mite, which
causes year-round allergic reaction. But the animal only shows symptoms
in spring and summer. "It makes me look back – do we have good flea
control," Dr. Hillier said. "Mosquitoes or flies are more likely to
cause irritation in spring and summer."

Or perhaps the results say the dog is hypersensitive to seven different
trees, and eight grasses. If the dog has year-round disease—including in
the winter, when trees and grasses don’t come into play—that indicates
that while flora may be contributing to the symptoms, it doesn’t explain
the source of the allergy entirely.
From there, it’s a matter of determining treatment, which breaks down
into three categories. Owners can avoid exposing the pet to the
allergen, vaccinate against it, or treat the symptoms.

Too often people leap to treating the symptoms—using special shampoos,
antihistamines, anti-inflamatories, and so on— before trying to identify
the allergen, Dr. Hillier said.

That works for a while, but eventually the medications may stop working
on that pet, or the condition worsens. So it’s best to find the cause of
the problem, if possible, Dr. Hillier said.

The vaccination is actually immunotherapy. Once veterinarians determine
what allergens affect the pet, they come up with a solution containing
those elements. The solution is injected into the pet, first every other
day, then every two weeks, over a course of a few months, Dr. Olivry

Eventually, the animal may become desensitized. The therapy is effective
in 60 to 80 percent of patients, he said. However, treatment is usually
long-term, if not life-long.

Jeffrey Adler of Gainesville, Fla., went through the long process of
identifying the triggering allergen for his young dog, which was
suffering from hot spots and ear infections.

Veterinarians did a skin test and studied the dog’s history. In Dr.
Adler’s case, the dog turned out not to be allergic to airborne
substances—it had food allergies.

"Once the dermatologist identified the basis for the allergies, they put
[the dog] on a prescription diet," he said. "We’ve gone two to three
years without any problems—they identified the problem and came up with
a solution."


bulletCool water, rather than cold, will help reduce and regulate a dog's
body temperature.
bulletIf the pavement is too hot for your bare feet then it is also for your
pup’s paws too.
bulletTruck beds provide no protection from the sun and heighten the chances
for heatstroke for your dog or humans. It can also severely burn his
bullet100,000 dogs are killed each year due to riding in the back of
bulletNormal Temp. for a dog is 100 to 102 degrees.
bulletMicrochip and tattooing are good ways of finding your dog if it ever
loses it way from home.

Vet's job changes with the times
ABILENE, TX -- Now they reflect the fact that pets have gone from being
"my pet dog or cat" to being "part of my family." It's kind of a
mindset. More info:

Days may be numbered for pooch on death row
SEATTLE, WA -- Word, an 11-year-old Lhasa apso at the center of an
eight-year legal battle that's cost taxpayers more than $200,000, may
not have much longer to live. More info:

Sun Valley's Internet Art Auction Goes to the Dogs
SUN VALLEY, ID -- Fifty painted, larger-than-life, fiberglass Labrador
Retrievers currently on display on the town's streets will be available
for auction. Proceeds from the auctions, expected to generate $100,000 -
$200,000, will benefit four animal related charities. More info:

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Male or Female?
When you make your final decision on getting a dog, you might ask
yourself, “Will its sex make a difference?”

Most animal experts say not really. Most differences between pets are
related to training and personality, unless they aren’t neutered or
spayed. An unaltered pet’s hormones or sex drive may have a profound
influence on its behavior. Without sterilization, a male dog will be
heading for the hills at the first scent of a female in heat.

If you are a responsible pet owner and have your dog spayed or neutered,
what sex-related differences are there?

There are so many breed and individual differences, it’s hard to tell,
but there appears to be a bias toward one or the other.

Probably the most noticeable sex difference will be that the males are
slightly larger than the females.

There appear to be more dominance-aggression in males than in females.
They show aggression toward a member of a household over a treat, toy,
etc. Females though, show aggression toward other canine members of the

So does this mean you shouldn’t get a male dog because of aggression?
Not at all, these are only generalities, but it does help to realize
what problems your dog might have.

Socialization in dogs is a very important factor. It is important to
properly socialize a dog and prevent it from having behavior problems.

Lease with Pets bridges the gap between landlords and potential
tenants with pets. By providing damage warranties, landlords feel more
comfortable renting to pet owners, thus opening doors previously closed
to tenants with pets. If you are a pet owner, you've probably
encountered some difficulties finding a landlord willing to accept your
pet. If you own rental property, leasing to tenants with pets can have
financial repercussions.

Breed: Pug
Country of Origin: Asia
AKC Group: Toy
Function: Companion
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Appearance: Small
Color: Apricot, fawn, black and silver - all with a short, flat, black
muzzle and velvety ears
Coat Type: Short
Grooming: The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Brush and comb
with a firm bristle brush and shampoo only when necessary. After
bathing, dry him quickly and thoroughly to prevent chill. The creases
on the face must be cleaned regularly. This breed is a seasonally heavy
Height: 10-14 inches
Weight: 13-20 pounds
Activity Level: Medium-high
Watch Dog: Yes
Protection: No
Intelligence: Very high
Trainability: High
Good With Children: Yes
Good With Pets: Yes
Good With Strangers: Yes
Character: Perky
Home Environment: Apartment ok
Best Owner: Loving
Potential Problems:
Physical: Pugs catch colds easily and are stressed by hot and cold
weather. They are prone to allergies and the short muzzle contributes
to chronic breathing problems. (Pugs suffer from poor ventilation.)
They are not the easiest whelpers. Expect Cesarean Section if breeding.
There is a chance of keratites (inflammation of the cornea) and ulcers
on the cornea. The delicate eyes are prone to weeping. This breed
tends to wheeze and snore, but on the whole is a very easy-care dog. Do
not overfeed a Pug, as they will eat more than is good for them, quickly
becoming obese and living much shorter lives.

Pugs: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, Behavior,
and Training By: Phil Maggitti
Retail Price: $6.95
Our Price: $6.25
The Pug is an ancient breed that originated in China, and is well known
as an alert, loyal, and obedient household pet. This volume tells new
and prospective Pug owners virtually everything they need to know about
caring for their pet. Books in the Complete Pet Owner's Manuals series
present basic information about pets for new or soon-to-be owners.
Advice and instruction covers feeding, housing, health care, training,
grooming, protection against hazards, and much more. Texts emphasize pet
care basics and are easy for all readers to understand, but most titles
in this series also presents facts that even experienced pet owners and
breeders will find new and useful. All books in this series are filled
with high quality full-color photos and instructive line drawings.
Length averages between 64 and 104 pages.

Guide to Owning a Pug By: Ariel Cannon and Matthew Low
Retail Price: $7.95
Our Price: $7.15
With his big-dog personality in his little-dog body, and his face that
only a mother could love, the Pug is becoming increasingly popular. This
book explains everything the Pug owner needs to know to care for his
unique Pug, including the history of the breed, feeding, grooming and
training tips, and basic health care.

A New Owner's Guide to Pugs By: Richard G. Beauchamp
Retail Price: $12.95
Our Price: $10.36
A New Owner's Guide to Pugs offers the new dog owner the expert
experience and advice of longtime breeder and author Rick Beauchamp.
Illustrated with over 100 beautiful and instructive photographs, this
comprehensive guide provides a new Pug owner with everything he or she
needs to know about living with, training, and caring for this unique
and versatile.

Rescue Groups:
Southwestern Pennsylvania Pug Rescue (SPPR)

Little Angels Pug Rescue

Pug Rescue of Southern California

Las Vegas Pug Rescue (NV)

Mid-Ohio Pug Society Rescue (OH)

Pug Rescue of Sacramento (CA)

Pug Rescue of Southeast Texas (TX)

Pug Rescue, Nevada (NV)

Southeast Pug Rescue and Adoption (GA, AL, SC)

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"The biggest dog has been a pup."
-- Joaquin Miller


Home  |  Photo Album  |  Why Adopt?  |  Adoption Sites  |  NDRC's Poll  |  Puppy Mills  |  Breed Index  |  Link To Us!  |  Canines Online  |  Dogs in the Encyclopedia  |  Dog Facts  |  Ways To Help When You Can't Adopt  |  Awards I Have Won  |  Win My Award  |  Award Winners  |  Sign My Guestbook!  |  View My Guestbook!  |  What Is Rescue?  |  Your Dog's Age  |  Quiz: Are You Ready For A Dog?  |  What is Your Dog Saying?  |  How to Choose the Right Dog  |  Preparing for your New Dog  |  Supplies  |  Books and Magazines  |  Taking Care of your Dog  |  First Aid Supplies for your Dog  |  First Aid  |  Toxic Plants for your Dog  |  A Checklist for a Healthy Dog  |  Warm and Cold Weather Suggestions  |  Dog Food  |  Recipes  |  October: Adopt a Shelter Dog Month  | Save a Stray  |  Are You Nuts About Mutts? | To Neuter or Not to Neuter? |